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MetGen: Several Projects In Pipeline For $2bn Industrial Enzyme Market

metgenBy chance, I have met recently several Finnish companies operating in the new but growing cleantech segment of industrial enzymes for biowaste-to-energy applications. Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions and that can be used as new materials for renewable energy solutions. The global industrial enzyme market is currently valued at $2bn with an annual growth rate of 3-5%, which is fairly moderate.  However, the large M&A transactions increase the attractiveness of this segment. Examples of transactions in this area include, for instance, the buy-out of Indian Biocon’s food industry enzymes unit by Novozymes for $115m in 2007  (story) and also the merger of US-based Celunol and Diversa in 2007 (story). 

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MetGen, based in Turku, is focusing on enzymatic technologies in industrial processes (meaning simply industrial enzymes) trial to increase energy efficiency in industrial biofuel production.  The core customers include the pulp & paper industry, which have realized the potential of creating significant value from the current by-product/waste streams. In Finland and the Nordic countries, several industry leaders have ongoing R&D projects to convert industrial waste or wood waste into energy and cellulosic ethanol. MetGen, still at the development stage, has several interesting R&D projects in the pipeline in this segment.  The company develops enzymes useful in areas such as biomass treatment for energy conservation in the pulp & paper industry, and bioethanol production.

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